Published On: Mon, Jan 10th, 2011

German Markets Hold Their Breath

German stocks fell again today as would-be-investors collectively waited for the results of today’s pending meeting with Greece. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is scheduled to meet with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras for talks, in which Samaras is expected to request more time for his nation to hit goals put in place as part of their bailout.

Merkel has said on numerous occasions that there will be “no leeway whatsoever” during the negotiations and that Greece should continue their austerity measures. French President Francois Hollande has concurred with the chancellor and insists that the two nations will work together to maintain the current pressure on Greece to follow through with its economic reform.

Regardless of the reassurances from various officials of both nations traders and investors have waited with baited breath before committing themselves, leaving both stocks, commodities and currencies worldwide in limbo. Usually the these reassurances would be enough for most traders to continue with business as usual, however glowing reports from auditors last month and faint signs of a pulse from the Greek economy have left most wondering if Samaras might be able to get something from the meeting.

While investors can afford to wait for the results, expected to be announced at a joint press conference at approx. 2pm in Berlin, the markets must continue – which has inevitably lead to falling prices and low volume across the board in Germany.

German carmaker Volkswagen lead the way in declines, losing 1.9% after a signs of slowed growth for European based companies within the industry. ThyssenKrupp followed suit with a 1.7% loss while Beiersdorf broke the mould and climbed 0.7% after investment company Exane said it expected to see “above average” margin expansion from the cosmetics giant. Another carmaker who lost out due to the report was Daimler AG, who fell by 1.5% to €40.56. Insurance company Allianz dipped by 1.2%.

The declines have shocked many analysts who felt the calming words of Merkel would have been enough to mitigate losses. Germany, who are extremely pro-austerity, are well known for their harsh stance on countries in debt and believe they should get out of their own situation by whatever means necessary, while only taking whatever help is necessary instead of whatever is available. Despite this usually harsh stance, however, Merkel did say that everyone should wait for the Troika Report before discussing any further measures or possible softening of current terms. In a press release released yesterday Merkel said “It’s important to me that we all stand by our obligations and wait for the troika report and see what the result is”.

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About the Author

- Marcus Holland has been trading the financial markets since 2007 with a particular focus on soft commodities. He graduated in 2004 from the University of Plymouth with a BA (Hons) in Business and Finance.